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FAQ Main Menu > Tuned Percussion

Tuned Percussion Information and FAQs


Angklung | Balafon | Bamboo Xylophone | Campana | Cheng (2) | Drimba | Gilo Stones | Glockenspiel | Jew'S Harp | Lali | Marimbas | Mbira | Metallophone | Pate | Ranat Ek | Singing Bowl | Steel Drums | To'Ere | Vibraphone | Xylophone


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Definition: Bamboo bells native to Indonesia. Each Angklung consists of two or three bamboo tubes of differing lengths tuned in octaves.


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Definition: West African xylophone: set of three: bass, mid range and high one for soloing.

Bamboo Xylophone

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Definition: pair of large bamboo xylophones erected on ladders, beaten with rubber flipflops (sandals) or thongs.


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Definition: Bell.

Cheng (2)

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Definition: Chinese gong.


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Definition: Romanian instrument essentially same as the jew's harp, or mouth harp.

Gilo Stones

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Definition: (Solomon Islands, Pacific) music is created by striking certain stones with bamboo sticks of varying lengths, prodrucing mellifluous xylpophonic sounds, like running water.


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Definition: A set of tuned metal bars on a wooden frame, similar to the wooden xylophone, and in turn probably related to the West African Balophon.

Jew'S Harp

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Definition: hand-sized instrument placed in front of the mouth; sound produced by blowing across, and simultaneously twanging, a flexible 'tongue' set into a frame; many types. Also known more recently as Jaws Harp.


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Definition: (Beqa, the Pacific) two large slit log drums.


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Definition: A modern commercially manufactured, fully resonated orchestral xylophone.


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Definition: played with the thumbs; "thumb piano"; its sound is produced by the vibration of tongues of metal or wood; small in size. Known as Mbira in Zimbabwe, Budongo in Uganda and Sansa and in South Africa. It is also known as Kalimba.
Introduction: The Mbira, Kalimba, Sansa, Budongo or thumb piano is played across all of Southern Africa. The instrument is made of a wooden plate or sometimes a wooden box (with or without sound hole). A number of metal tongues, usually between 5 and 24 are attached. These are tuned by adjusting the sounding length of the tongue and can be fine-tuned with a metal file if needed.
Read the full Mbira FAQ Page.


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Definition: percussion instrument consisting of a row of tuned metal bars.


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Definition: (Cook Islands, the Pacific) slit log drums.

Ranat Ek

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Definition: Thai xylophone, the leader of a classical music ensemble

Singing Bowl

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Definition: Tuned metal bowls from the Himalayan region.
Introduction: Made from an alloy of seven different metals. Usually used for ritual purposes, sound healing, and meditation. The sound is produced by rubbing a leather covered stick slowly around the rim of the bowl (which must be supported only by the base). Bowls are found as far as Korea and Japan also.
Read the full Singing Bowl FAQ Page.

Steel Drums

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Definition: Steel Drums or Steel Pans are popular in the Southern Carribean, particularly Trinidad & Tobago. Traditionally made from cut-off oil drums beaten into separate tuned areas, the band consists of Tenor (lead), second, mid-range and bass pans.


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Definition: Tahitian slit log drum; hollowed out trunk of tou wood, struck eith a wooden beater; the larger the instrument, the deeper the sound.


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Definition: of the bar percussion family; metal; similar in appearance to the xylophone.


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Definition: Percussion instrument consisting of a series of graduated wooden bars that are struck with mallets to produce sound. Xylophones originated in South East Asia, and later became very prominent in African music.